Naoki Tanaka, president of Japan’s Center For International Public Policy Studies, told Tehran Times reporters that Iran has the right to develop nuclear energy for peaceful uses. He pointed out that Japan has possessed knowledge of nuclear energy for over forty years and it has only been used for peaceful purposes. He argued against a policy of sanctions which he felt was ineffective and urged Iran to engage in negotiations with other nations in pursuit of a resolution of their current conflict over nuclear energy. Tehran Times editor Esmaelli agreed there was need for negotiation and argued Iran wanted the end of double standards such as allowing Israel to have atomic development, including use of nuclear weapons, but denying such energy sources to Iran. Tanaka suggested part of the problem was that Iran had a history of being manipulated by outside western powers and that influenced their approach to the issue of trust.
Mr. Tanaka raises an important issue — Iran was dominated by western powers who even overthrew a moderate leader such as Mossadegh in the 1950s. It is difficult for a nation with such a history of interference to readily accept promises from those who previously had interfered in its internal affairs. This highlights the importance of American stepping away and allowing nations like Japan or Turkey to assume leadership in dealing with the nuclear energy issue. Perhaps, as a first step, America could end sanctions, and suggest a summit meeting between Iran and other nations it trusts could attempt to resolve the problem.